2 up 1 down vs 1 up 2 down

ted

Member
which do you prefer and why? 2 rack toms 1 floor tom...or...1 rack tom 2 floor toms?
 

oldrockdrummer

Senior Member
I play 2 up 2 down, I tune to 5ths so it seems to be more melodic that way. I use to play 3 up 2 down but the 8" rack tom wasn't getting played much and just seemed to get in the way
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
If I'm feeling a bit lazy, I prefer the ease of playing 2-up, 1-down, where all my toms are within easy reach.

However, I definitely prefer the sound (and look) of a 1-up, 2-down setup, with two rumbling floor toms. The single rack tom also makes it much easier to get my hihats and ride to more comfortable positions.
 

paistepower92

Senior Member
I prefer 1 up 2 down because I can't fit 2 toms up top without having the hats uncomfortably far away IMO. My 24" Giant Beat doesn't help either.
 

Swexx

Senior Member
1 up, 1 down.

I can put my ride and hats where I want them and I really only need two toms to do what I do.
 

?uesto

Silver Member
I prefer 1-up, 2-down, but it definitely depends on the gig. I do 1-up, 1-down for jazz or when I'm too lazy to bring/don't need another floor tom. I do like 2-up, 2-down in the studio too.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I like 1 up 2 down for the two rumbling floors but my ride doesn't change positions going from 2 racks to just one. Two racks just feels like clutter to me, like I just don't need two mid range toms. I probably don't need two floors either, but they're fun enough for me to keep around. I think of my kit as primarily a 2 tom setup since rack and 1st floor see 90% of the action, but some things just gotta have 3 toms so it's worth having that extra tom down on the end. Plus, did I mention two floors sounds like King Kong?
 
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T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I love playing one up two down and thats how I gig, my practice kit is currently 2 up one down. no reason for it. i ususally only lug a one up one down to practice. i can play anything i guess.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I started drums a long time ago with the usual setup (12 , 13, 16) and I always have been having a hard time without the 2nd tom there. so , for me, it it 2 up and 1 down or my fav being 2 up and 2 down.
 
J

Joseph "Stix" Davis

Guest
My gigging kit is a 2 up, 1 down configuration. I like having everything nice and tight. I have easy reach to everything and I don't have to turn to reach a 2nd floor tom.

The picture I have here shows having the 2nd floor tom, but I currently do not bring it to shows, although that may change since I can never make up my mind... ;)
 

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MikeM

Platinum Member
I started drums a long time ago with the usual setup (12 , 13, 16) and I always have been having a hard time without the 2nd tom there. so , for me, it it 2 up and 1 down or my fav being 2 up and 2 down.
Thats the same setup I started with back in the '80s. Then came to find out that 6 toms was way too many on my next kit, and 4 was still too many on the kit after that. Too much confusion! But three seems to be just right. 1 up 1 down's pretty happening, too. I just miss the two floors with that setup, otherwise I'd probably favor it.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I find that 2 down is a pain in the arse. More to lug around, and that second floor tom is all but out of reach to the left hand.

I’m eternally surprised to see drummers set up with almost everything on their right side. And almost everybody does it, as is obvious from all the pictures around here. But everything over to one side is just way too physically limiting, methinks. I much prefer a (semi-)symmetrical kit where both hands have easy access to everything.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I prefer 1 up mostly because of ride cymbal placement. Though I don't mind 2 up if necessary. I rarely use 2 down though. Every time I have I've found myself hardly using the second floor tom so it just isn't worth it for me.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I find that 2 down is a pain in the arse. More to lug around, and that second floor tom is all but out of reach to the left hand.

I’m eternally surprised to see drummers set up with almost everything on their right side. And almost everybody does it, as is obvious from all the pictures around here. But everything over to one side is just way too physically limiting, methinks. I much prefer a (semi-)symmetrical kit where both hands have easy access to everything.
Huh, I never really had any problems reaching the second floor tom.

I think the reason people don't put much on the left is the hi-hat. For most players with a traditional hi-hat position, it is higher than the snare and in the way for smooth movements to the left. I have used a floor tom to the left of the hi hat, and personally I had more trouble using it than I did a second floor tom on the right.

It can work, of course, and there are other ways to position the hats, but in the end I don't think most drummers figure it's worth it.

And, to the OP - 1 up, 1 down for me, currently. It puts the ride in the right place.
 

T-rex

Member
1 up, 1 down.

I have a bunch of toms so I am constantly switching around for screwing around at home but I gig pretty much exclusively with 1 up and 1 down. Just seems to be perfect for me and the way I play and I like having the ride over the bass drum a bit.

To answer the original question it would come down to the type of music; do I need a 10 tom more to do some more melodic stuff or do I need the 16 or 18 floor tom more to play some really loud or heavy music?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I think the reason people don't put much on the left is the hi-hat. For most players with a traditional hi-hat position, it is higher than the snare and in the way for smooth movements to the left. I have used a floor tom to the left of the hi hat, and personally I had more trouble using it than I did a second floor tom on the right.

It can work, of course, and there are other ways to position the hats, but in the end I don't think most drummers figure it's worth it.
I agree with this - I've tried putting things to the left of the hi hat and always felt getting over to that side was more awkward that beneficial. Also, yeah, there are ways to reposition the hi hat to center it on the kit, and that makes sense, too, from a left-right access / cross over elimination POV, but then tom locations have to change which breaks up the flow of the toms so it's just not worth it for me.

The second floor tom isn't the easiest drum to reach for sure, but it's not that hard either if you're already on the 1st floor. Plus, it's nice to have access to all that thunder.
 
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